alumni newsletter by dfsiopmhy6


									                                                                                                                                      January 2007
alumni newsletter                                                                                                                            Issue 4

        Keeping you in step with CDC
 A Letter from America: an insight into the Texas Twostep
By Paul Bolchover                                                                to General Dancing. Instead, serious dancers go out to one of the many
It had to happen: after 14 years in Cambridge, and 13 years as a member          C&W clubs in town (think a Salsa club, but with cowboys). A particular
of the CDC, work finally decided that it was time for me to move to              favourite is called "Wild West", which combined a saloon atmosphere
Houston. No-one that knows me will be                                            with women in chaps at the bar a wooden dance floor, and dancing every
surprised that one of the first things I did                                     evening until late.
was to check on the quality of the dancing                                       Not long after arriving, I began to learn the Texas Twostep. This dance
out there, and it was with great difficulty                                      (not to be confused with the "Nightclub twostep") is best described as
that I dragged myself from the familiar                                          doing the armwork of Ceroc (or Salsa), while dancing the footwork of the
comforts of Cambridge to the wilds of                                            Quickstep. It progresses round the room: the basic step is in a fairly open
Texas.                                                                           dance hold, with the man facing line of dance starting on the left foot,
Houston was fairly small until the oil                                           going QQSS (forward close forward forward) with the woman doing the
boom of the 1970s. Nowadays, it is a huge                                        same in reverse. Some people dance the second step as a forward, rather
urban sprawl. There are no planning re-                                          than a close. This Twostep basic is essentially the same as the quickstep,
strictions, which means that new suburbs                                         except with the man doing chasses forward, instead of sideways. The
are continually being built on the edge of                                       Country & Western Polka is exactly the same, but with man starting on
the city, while older housing inside the city                                    the left foot, going QQS QQS (forward close forward, forward close for-
falls into neglect or is redevel-                                                ward). The Twostep can be danced to most slow to medium Country &
oped. Houses are built out of timber, and                                        Western music and the polka to slow Country & Western cha chas danced
the hot humid weather means that buildings only last for 30-40                   at double speed or to fast Polka-like tunes. Neither dance has a heel lead:
years. Despite the very cosmopolitan urban nature of Houston itself,             the Twostep is fairly flat-footed, while the Polka seems to mainly be
you don't need to go far beyond the city limits to reach the wilds of            danced on the toes, though without the hop of the European Polka.
Texas: small towns, with traditional values. The oil industry has
brought both fat cats and rednecks from around the states, bringing their        In general, steps taught in the Twostep can also be taught in the Polka:
own hometown traditions. It came as a surprise to find that cowboy hats          they simply stretch the move on the final slow to last over the three steps
and boots really are considered to be part of normal clothing: it is not         of the second QQS. In fact, in higher level classes, they only teach the
unusual to see several people wearing Stetson hats in the queue for pass-        routine in the twostep, and leave it to the dancer to work out a Polka ver-
port control at the airport or out shopping. People of both sexes wear a         sion. The simplest steps that can be added are the turns from dancing
hat to dance classes, making underarm turns much more interesting!               forwards to dancing backwards: dancing forwards, the man starts swing-
                                                                                 ing himself to the side on the final slow of the basic, does a half turn on
Perhaps it's the traditional attitude of the people, but dancing is still very   the next QQS (which normally goes side close back) and goes backwards
popular with all ages in Houston. In particular, the "Texas Twostep"             on the final Slow. To turn from backwards to forwards, the man steps
and "Polka", which are the traditional dances of Texas and most of the           (back back side) on the QQS, and spins half a turn on the next slow (very
mid-west states. While in the UK the freedom of the late sixties led             similar to a Spin Turn). The turns work identically in Polka.
people to reject partner dancing and to start dancing by themselves on
the dance floor, the same does not appear to have happened in Texas:             Until around 1980, that was it! There were a couple of advanced steps:
partner dancing is very much a part of their culture, and people of my           the "Circle Turn", which is just going forward to backwards repeatedly.
age will have picked up the Twostep and Polka at local honky-tonks               and the "Reverse Circle Turn", which is the same but in the opposite di-
while in their young teens.                                                      rection (crossing your feet like in Viennese Waltz). In 1979, Travolta
                                                                                 starred in the film "Urban Cowboy": a similar film to “Saturday Night
Once I arrived at Houston, it was fairly easy to find somewhere to               Fever”, but with country music and Travolta dancing the Twostep. The
dance. A metropolitan population of five million (forty times that of            film was very popular (especially in Houston, where it was filmed), and
Cambridge) means a correspondingly larger number of dance clubs, in              suddenly all of the nightclubs stopped playing disco music, and started
nearly every style imaginable. I get my ballroom fix once a month,               playing Country Music instead. The youth of the day had previously been
where the local ballroom dancing federation puts on an event that is best        dancing to disco music with a partner dance referred to as the Aggie Jit-
described as a cross between General Dancing, a CDC Ball and Ball-               terbug which was nearly identical to Ceroc - lots of arm movements, no
room Blitz. Early on, I decided not to take up ballroom lessons, but to          footwork ("Aggie" is probably meant as an insult, since it refers to the
try some new forms of dancing. I certainly fell on my feet when I                Texas A&M university - a great rival to the University of Texas in
joined the SSQQ dance club: a club that is so like the CDC that the              Houston). These dancers suddenly found themselves restricted to Twostep
similarities are amazing. SSQQ claims to be the largest dance club in            music, dancing a dance with very little variety. As a result
North America, with around 1000 people attending classes each                    they experimented, trying to fit stationary Jitterbug moves into the
month. Courses are 8 hours long, consisting of 2-hours classes for 4             progressive Twostep rhythm. Some worked, some didn't. There was also
weeks. They teach several classes each evening, in several different             a lot of influence from ballroom teachers who, on seeing a new trend,
styles of dancing: Twostep / Polka, West Coast Swing, Salsa, Ballroom            started holding classes and adapting US-style Foxtrot moves to fit. No
(American style), East Coast Swing (a cross between Lindyhop, Jive,              matter how complicated the steps get, the rhythms of the dances never
Rock'n'Roll and Ceroc), and various other miscellaneous styles. There            change. Unlike International Ballroom, where interest is added by fancy
is even a Glennis-like figure: the studio owner, Rick Archer, whose              footwork and timing, in these dances, interest is added by underarm turns
presence is felt over the entire club. One advantage SSQQ has over the           of your partner etc, while the timing remains constant. A lot of beginning
CDC is that they can teach all of their classes in a single venue. This          Twostep moves involve the "double turn" for the woman (actually a 1 1/2
means that at the end of each evening, all of the classes merge, forming         three-step turn for the woman to the left, under the man's arm). In this
a big hour-long practice for everyone. The club has monthly dance                way, the modern Twostep (sometimes called the Western Swing) was
parties corresponding to CDC balls, but there is nothing corresponding           born.
Dancesport Team — victory at Nottingham
CUDT has had a great start to the sea-    At the end of last term some couples        team couples returning.
son with a combination of talent and      attended the Suffolk Open Champi-
hard work producing very encourag-        onships hosted by Tom and Pat Lait          This term CUDT as in previous
ing results at Nottingham in both open    in Ipswich. Notably Kenneith Yong           years will be attending the Shef-
events and the team matches. Cam-         and Shoko Jin won the novice latin          field social competition, SUDC
bridge couples made finals in the nov-    and Kunal Gupta and Olga Shevnyk            and IVDC. Results will appear on
ice, intermediate and advanced ball-      made several finals in both ballroom        the CUDT section of the CDC
room and latin events: Paul Fannon        and latin.                                  website. The team would wel-
and Vesna Kadelburg, Nejc Jus &                                                       come any support at competitions
Pauliina Markulla and Florian Wansel      This term the team will continue to         if you’d like to attend—details of
and Mai Trinh all made the advanced       train hard and many couples from            competitions can be found on
ballroom final and Paul and Vesna         both the main and beginners team  
made the advanced latin final.            took the opportunity for some pre-
The A, B, and C teams won their team      season training at the 'Sevenoaks           To help out this term our regular
events — retaining their titles from      Dance camp' hosted by Paul and              team coaches (Bruce Lait, Paul
last year— beating arch-rivals Oxford     Vesna. This has kick started the sea-       Walker, Benoit & Lorraine Drolet;
into second place, and the D team nar-    son for many people, and together           Rory & Katherine Costain and
rowly missed out on victory coming        with an extended team practice on           Andrew Cuerden & Hanna
second to Oxford by a few                 Thursday evenings this term, should         Haarala) will be joined by Stephen
points. The unlimited D team con-         help the team to maintain their lead-       and Jenny Hillier on Sunday 18th
sisted of 16 couples, and in the semi     ing position on the university circuit.     February. CDC also hope to host
finals was represented by 14 of these                                                 ballroom and latin workshops and
couples over the four dances showing      The reunion match in November was           well as a dance fitness workshop
the depth of the squad this year, and     a great success with 35 couples tak-        in the forthcoming months.
the potential for future years.           ing part including half a dozen old

CDC Events          
 Dates of dancesport workshops and a fitness workshop TBC — these will be advertised on the website.

 Cuppers                                    Saturday 17th February 2007          Lee Hall, Wolfson
 From 1.30pm, variety of events from beginners to advanced as well as the inter college team match
 See back page for more information.

 Rock n Roll Social                          Friday 23rd February 2007              Centre at St Pauls, Hills Rd
 From 7.30pm—10pm                            Free                                   1950s dress welcome

 Ballroom beginners social night               Saturday 3rd March                   St Columbas
 8-10pm                                        Free
 Suitable for those who started learning this year

 Tea Dance                                   Sunday 4th March                       Howard Building, Downing
 1.30pm-4.30pm                               £5                                     Dress: smart.
 Social dance plus refreshments.

 Salsa Spring Ball                         Sunday 11 March 2007              University Arms Hotel
 Lessons 7-8pm; dancing until 12am.        £10 for members, £12 for non-members.
 Featuring live band Palenke and demo by Barranco. E-mail:

 CDC Ball                                    Friday 16th march 2007               St Ivo Centre, St Ives
 7.30pm—1am                                  £20 incl transport, £16 excl transport     Dress: Black Tie
 Coaches depart from Queens Rd at 7pm
 Live music, bar open until midnight. Tickets available from 23rd February

 Future Ball Dates:

          Summer Ball               21 June 2007
  Competitions 2007                         Pasion de Salsa                          portunity to experience them live.
                                                                                     There will be lessons from 7-8pm
                                                                                     and dancing until midnight, includ-
  Sheffield Social                         The first ever Winter Salsa Ball was      ing a show by Barranco (The Cam-
  Saturday 10th February,                  a fantastic success. The live band,       bridge University Salsa Team). Tick-
  The Octagon, Sheffield                   Palenke, were first rate and made the     ets are limited once again and it is
                                           night for most of the dancers. We         very likely to sell out - so make sure
  Southern Friendly                        had over 170 people in attendance         you book yours early to avoid disap-
  Saturday 17th February                   and the event was sold out several        pointment. Email
                                           days before,                    
  Southampton University
                                           much to the                               with the number of member (£10)
  Southern Universities Competition        disappointment                            and non-member (£12) tickets you
  Saturday 24th February                   of some people                            require.
  Bath University                          trying to buy
                                           tickets on the                            Last term the team performed this
  Northern Universities Competition        door. The at-                             years demo for the first time at the
  Saturday 24th February                   mosphere was                              Club Salsa Christmas Party, surpris-
  Leeds                                    brilliant in such a lovely venue and      ing quite a few people at the new
                                           we have                                   direction of the choreography this
  Inter Varsity Dance Competition          had some excellent feedback with          year to include more body isolation
  Saturday 10th March,                     many of the guests telling us it was      and hip-hop styling. This term we
  Empress Ballroom, Blackpool              the best salsa event they had ever        have confirmed demos at the Cam-
                                           been to in Cambridge.                     bridge Union ball and Pasion De Pri-
  Manchester Spring Comp                                                             mavera . The team will also be com-
  Saturday 28th April                      As a result of such positive feedback     peting in the
  Manchester University                    we have decided to run a Spring           salsa event at
                                           Salsa Ball - Pasion De Primavera -        Cuppers in
  Varsity Match 2007                       on March 11th and are delighted to        February.
  Saturday 5th May,                        welcome Palenke back to The Uni-
  Burgess Hall, St Ives                    versity Arms Hotel for another op-

  For information on open circuit and

                                            What can we do for you?
  student competitions and details of
  social events and workshops around
  the country and to discuss dancing in
                                            If you’d be interested in any CDC reunion events, whether a dinner back at
  our discussion forum with other cur-
                                            a Cambridge college or an informal drink in London, let us know. We are
  rent and former students see:
                                            keen to keep as many CDC members in touch as possible and we’d like to
                                            hear what events would interest you.
                                            If you or your company are interested in advertising with CDC contact the
                                            President on:

   Xmas Ball                              Rock ‘n’ Roll - from Salisbury to Slovenia
  The CDC Christmas Ball at the start     On Saturday 2nd December, three          On 17th Nov, the Rock 'n' Roll team
  of December was a success—and           couples travelled to Slovenia to com-    performed at a Spire FM
  sold out a week before the event.       pete in European B-Class. The cou-       charity Grease-themed night for local
  Over 200 people danced the night        ples now hold world rankings of 106      radio station Spire FM. The formation
  away in the Burgess Civic Hall, St      (Nichola Burns & Graham Smith),          demonstrations and teaching
  Ivo Centre. An entertaining demon-      102 (Amy Oliver & Steve Romans)          were well received. The team will be
  stration was given by the UK number     and 95 (Katie Walland and Barny          competing this term at various student
                two Amateur Ballroom      Golder).                                    competitions: the Sheffield Social,
                couple Marco Caval-                                                   SUDC and IVDC. The team will
                laro & Joanne Clifton,                                                also be performing at the Jewish
                who won the tango at                                                  Society Ball on 18th February.
                the British National
                Dance Championships
                in Blackpool a few
                weeks earlier.
           XS Success
          The end of 2006 saw the          beaten into second place. XS,               The Viennese competition was the
          most successful period           despite giving its best perform-            team’s last competitive outing with its
for XS Latin so far. In November,          ance ever in a world champion-              Song of South America routine. Work
the team defended its British Na-          ship, failed to make the semi-              has started on a new routine, entitled On
tional Championship in convincing          final, finishing a creditable 18th          Broadway, which uses classic tracks
style. The competition saw Fever           place against world class opposi-           from musical theatre such as Big
Latin team, trained by Rachael             tion.                                       Spender, Whatever Lola Wants and
Holland and Michael Stylianos,             Having been invited to the                  Aquarius. XS Latin is always looking
finish in second place and the Kent        Donaupokal Invitation competi-              for new members; if you would like to
Latin team, trained by Mark Shut-          tion, the team travelled to Vienna          find out more then contact David Malla-
lar and Gemma Bennett, take third.         on 15th December for its final              bone on david@djmallabone.wanadoo.
                                           contest of the year. 25 teams,     or visit their website at
At the beginning of December the                                              .
team visited Bremen, in Germany,           from 10 countries, including 8
to represent England                                 from Germany, were in-            2007 is XS Latin’s 10th anniversary year
at its fifth IDSF                                    vited to the competition.         and the team will be hosting a party for
World Latin Forma-                                   XS Latin danced a su-             all of its old alumni in the summer. If
tion Championships.                                  perb performance, full of         you are a former member of XS that has
In a thrilling compe-                                energy and clarity, and           lost contact with the team but would like
tition, probably the                                 was delighted to make             to join
highest standard the                                 the semi-final, placing           them to
team has ever par-                                   eleventh. The match               celebrate
ticipated in, the host team of GGC                   was streamed live on the          10 years of
Bremen took the world title for the        internet and can be viewed at:              XS then
first time in its history. Zuvédra
                                                                                       please con-
Klaipéda from Lithuania, the               option=com_content&task=view&id=600&Ite     tact David.
reigning champion since 2002, was

                                      CUPPERS — YOUR COLLEGE NEEDS YOU!
                            The inter-College competition         Saturday 17th February        Lee Hall Wolfson College
                          Dancesport Cuppers: CDC’s annual dancing competition, featuring opens in several dance
                          styles including Dancesport, Rock ’n’ Roll and Salsa, and finishing the day with the inter-
                          college Dancesport team match. Doors open at 1.30pm, first round at 2pm, Last waltz
                          approx 9pm. See: for more information.

There will be categories at various levels, including beginners-only. A full list of events will be added to the web site
shortly. Cost will depend on number of events entered.
For the inter-college team match, teams consist of four couples, each dancing one of waltz, quickstep, cha cha cha
and jive during the match. Ex-CDC members can return to dance for their former College. A list of College captains
will be on the website shortly. For more information contact:

                                                                                       GENERAL DANCING
                                                                                     The Cambridge Dancers’ Club tradition
    We have set up a mailing list for all alumni which will                          of free social dancing on a Friday night
    allow you to stay up to date with the latest news and receive                    continues.
    details of club events via e-mail. Please register on:                           Social Dancing Fridays 8.30-10.30pm
                                                                                     During term: 2nd floor University Centre
    For details on events please e-mail:                                             off Mill Lane; Outside Term: St                                                      Columba’s Halls, Downing Place

    For any other queries please e-mail Rachelle on:                                 Term dates:                                                      16th January 07—16th March 07
                                                                                     24th April 07—15th June 07
                                                                                     2nd October 07—30th November 07

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